Turning cars into charity cash

September 28th, 2010

A charity which promotes and investigates the replacement of animals in medical research is looking at new ways to fund its work.

FRAME, the Fund for Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments, has a laboratory in the School of Biomedical Sciences, which researches new methods to reduce and replace animals in labs. The FRAME Alternatives Laboratory (FAL), directed by Dr Andrew Bennet, is run as a collaboration — staffed by the University and funded by FRAME with additional income from research councils and other medical charities.

FRAME relies on grants and donations to fund its work — the FAL costs the charity more than £200,000 a year to fund. The charity has now teamed up with Giveacar Ltd, an independent car donation service, to raise money for its work.

Instead of scrapping their car, donors can give their vehicles to charity — turning scrap metal into cash for their chosen cause. Giveacar collect the car from the donor; recycle any suitable parts — reducing the impact on landfill; and pass on the scrap value to the charity, averaging around £100 per car.

FRAME Scientific Director Dr Nirmala Bhogal said: “It is important to provide a reliable income for the FAL to ensure the continuity of its groundbreaking work. The FAL is in the unique position of being able to use donated human tissue samples, from actual patients who have agreed to help, thanks to close associations with the Queen’s Medical Centre. Using human tissue to investigate human diseases means that the FAL’s work is much more relevant than animal-based experiments would be.”

FRAME advocates the ‘Three Rs’ model to combat current levels of animal use in laboratories — Refine, Reduce and Replace. Refinement of procedures so that the suffering of any animals necessarily used is minimised, reduction of the number of animals used to an unavoidable minimum, and ultimately replacement of animals altogether with validated alternative methods such as cell cultures and computer modelling.

Its long term aim is the complete replacement of animals in all medical testing but it recognises that goal cannot be achieved immediately. Meanwhile it supports efforts to reduce the numbers of animals involved and to refine testing methods so that suffering is minimised.

For more information on research funded by FRAME and donating to the charity, visit www.frame.org.uk

To find out more about donating your car, visit www.giveacar.co.uk

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